23 thoughts on “LETTER: Resident Backs Council, School Committee Candidates, Opposes Charter Changes

  1. I guess as long as your election-related accusations are big enough and vague enough, you don’t need to include quotations in order to be published here. This is naked fear-mongering, untethered to reality. (“Foreign Policy”?! Next we’ll be told to watch out for cosmopolitans.) I find this kind of speculative mud-slinging chilling and disturbing. But it’s also consistent with what I’ve heard from others who argue for the same slate of “nonpartisan” candidates. People from this noisy, fearful faction are the only ones talking about “defunding” in this election campaign season. It’s a dog whistle. They understand that most voters won’t bother to inform themselves about what the candidates really stand for, so they recycle the same tired, disingenuous talking points, knowing it will rile up a certain group. In this smear campaign, there’s no engaging on real substance, no interest in listening to anyone who thinks there’s room for improvement in how our local government serves the various communities within Watertown. It looks to me like a stance of willful ignorance and fear of progress. I hope these candidates, if any of them end up winning, will serve us better than this ugly kind of support would suggest. I’m not hearing a lot of disavowing, though, so maybe screeds like this are just what voters need to inform their choices, only not in the way this letter-writer hopes.

  2. so if uplift watertown uses divest from police, instead of defunding what is the difference. i’m glad it’s noisy, it just exposes what isn’t being said by your groups of what your agenda is.

  3. And here I was just this morning thinking “you know what this election needs? Overblown comparisons to Nazis!” You did it! Congrats!

    Thank you for helping to make my choices in this election clear. Echoing Tyler, it’s a shame that this and similar kinds of slander shared recently are tarnishing several people that otherwise seemed like strong candidates with positive messages. I was still considering some of them until the last couple of days. I urge these candidates to publicly distance themselves from this, then maybe I and others would reconsider.

    • Echo you and Tyler. I do hope that candidates named here do disavow the tactics used in many of the letters, like this one, full of half-truths, misinformation, accucations, fearmongering, intellectual laziness and zero sense. Remember, the winner will have to serve the 36k residents here and not just the 3500 who primarily live in one area.

  4. The writer uses in his first sentence the words “Common Sense mainstream Watertown voters. . .” and then goes on to reference the Gestapo, call people racist and Anti-American and so on. Common Sense? This is an example of what was once called “yellow journalism”.

    Rather than actually debate the issues, the writer prefers to call names, exaggerate candidates positions and engage in slander. Watertown voters should consider this behavior when evaluating the candidates the writer endorses.

  5. Joe, it is good to see people here who advocate for intellectual rigor. I am glad you are reminding people that these are not the tactics used in proper debate. The tactics of fear and smear are just that, fear and smear. Thank you.

  6. I do not have words to express how false, alarming, and hateful this letter is. My name is Connie Henry and I am the person running for town council, not my daughter. I request that your comments relate to my experience, hopes, and thoughts for our town. You obviously have not gone to my website (www.conniehenry.com) to understand why I am running for town councilor.
    I also want to convey how proud I am of my daughter. She is a wonderful mother, sister, educator, artist, and community volunteer. She won the Unity Breakfast award in partnership with a police lieutenant and has worked closely with the police department to initiate Kingian non-violence training in the schools and the community. I believe deeply in the value of respectful conversations and know the residents and institutions of Watertown want to have a safe and caring community.

    • Connie this is why people want to support you. It shows that you believe in family, education, community, the environment and the arts. Anyone who has met has never uttered a bad word about you, except you give people the benefit of the doubt more than you should. And maybe that is something more of us should do more often. I was born here and you arrived here some 40 years ago, and we just met a year ago. 4.3 Square miles and we are still just meeting one another, but I am glad I finally met you.

    • I thought the creepy Nazi reference in the unhinged letter was the low point, but attacking the mother of an adult child is right up there with it. On the one hand, the town has been able to learn about the candidates through forums, Q & As, position papers. On the other hand, the election has brought out the fringe weirdos as evidenced by this letter. Thanks for participating in the democratic process, Connie.

  7. You have provided a very accurate description of what some of the candidates will attempt to accomplish if they ever get elected along with their very un-Watertown like counterparts and then gain control of the Town Council.
    I say this because while these candidates have been on the campaign trail they have not talked about their desire to Defund the Police and I have to wonder why they are hiding from their previous statements on that subject? Of course the answer is that they may lose some votes if they do admit to their wants and I just call that a Big Lie!
    It is getting late so I will not provide input on all of your excellent letter but I want to take this opportunity to ALERT Watertown Voters that if they elect voters not on your list they just may lose 20 or so of our police officers via the DEFUND agenda and that would leave us with a less safe Watertown. Here is the recommended list to ensure that we do not DEFUND our great police department.

  8. This letter is entirely what one would expect from its author. It’s consistent with his decades of nastiness, vitriol, and ignorance. He’s never had the courage to put his name on the ballot (except for membership on the Republican Town Committee, where he is part of the bloc that has embraced Trumpism and all it represents.) It’s not worth any more of my time.

    • Unlike the We “Are” Watertown Facebook Page, the Watertown News has never claimed it is only for Watertown residents. As a newspaper it is open forum. This is how news works. The We “Are” Watertown page “advocates” for Watertown voters, and yet not everyone on that page is a current tax paying resident. A lot of “members” moved away two decades ago. Some “members” are fake accounts.

  9. I do not agree with the lack of editorial judgment that allows a piece like this to be run. Ruth Henry is a beloved teacher in this town, and I was so impressed a few years ago when I learned of the Kingian non-violence curriculum in Watertown Public Schools and saw Ruth and Lt. Unsworth honored at the Unity Breakfast in 2020. For a town to harass a teacher in the way they did, along with pieces like this, during a pandemic makes Watertown look terrible. Just remember- we are in the process of identifying a new Town Manager and any potential candidates will read what’s in here. Why would anyone want to come here if this is how people are treated? People who are affiliated with this “slate” need to show true leadership and denounce this rhetoric.

    • I don’t want my children indoctrinated with nonsense about our local police being 99% racist. There is no place in the education system for this nonsense and your support of those who demand it be provided within school speaks volumes about who you are.

  10. John has the right to express his opinions along with everyone else as he follows local politics better than most in this town. He does his homework before addressing issues and for people to demonize him because his ideas don’t jive with theirs, this is an attack on free speech. We do have many candidates who are far left who often try to link in more national issues than we need. There are enough debates on those issues. I am concerned with local issues and the candidates who support our police, want our teachers to teach our children the basics that many of us grew up with without influencing them with their political opinions and divisive ideas, and who are willing to be non-partisan. People so often talk about tolerance. Let’s hope people can accept and demonstrate that. Many people fear making political comments in these columns because of the attacks to which they would be subjected by a lot of the same people who often comment and feel their ideas are morally superior.

    • Oh, please. The issue isn’t about expressing your opinion, it’s how you do it. If DiMascio wants to trot out Nazi analogies, attack the mother of an adult woman, and ramble on about speech police, then he opens himself up to criticism. (And God forbid children are taught differently today than they were taught decades ago. Sure, in a rapidly evolving, ever-changing world, we should just stick with “the basics.”)

    • This reply demonstrates the lack of homework done. There is nothing but general swipes at residents and candidates who clearly think differently from the writer and the previous author who she is attempting to defend. Rather than bolster half-truths and misinformation, I would appreciate some real points about why candidate x is different candidate y. What would one candidate do better in terms of development, the vermin problem, green space, COVID-19 protocol, fiduciary matters, supporting local businesses, engaging the 36k resident rather than the few 1000 or so, professionalizing town hall, shifting the burden of taxes from the residents, figuring out why children leave the school system around enter junior high, the lack of communication problem, etc.? These are not national issues. These are the local issues that I do not hear about in the constant smear campaign.

  11. I will say one thing, in 25 years living in Watertown, I have never seen a candidate garner such grass roots support as Nicole Gardner. It’s quite impressive what she has accomplished with her organizational efforts. Whether you agree with her or not, this woman has charisma and drive. I think she will steamroll over Hanlon, who has been virtually invisible.

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